The ServerFault Challenge Has teh Codez: Announcing “Stack Exchange Challenge”

Last week I sent out a cry for help concerning the 2011 10K ServerFault challenge. Several people responded offering their skills and ideas and as I dreaded, I had to make a difficult decision. Before I tell a bit more about the final decision, let me say thank you to those who offered their help. One of those was Ben Pilbrow who offered up some scripts to be able to pinpoint a user’s reputation on January 1st. If you need some PHP done keep him on your short list.

Another possibility I had to choose from was developed by GeorgeEdison on StackExchange of Quick Media Solutions with some help from Jack of All Trades Jacob Jernigan. You can see the application here as well as seeing the Stack Apps page for it over yonder. It certainly looks good! In fact, this link will be the temporary means of keeping track of participants. Check to see if your name is on there (newer entrants might not be) and see how you’ve been doing!

But what of the final decision for a ServerFault Challenge app? Dan Seaver of RubyOverflow fame had some great ideas for an app based on Ruby on Rails. After some discussion, we worked out that perhaps coupling it closely with my blog or even my domain might not be the best idea. In fact, restricting the use of the app to just ServerFault or even just a single challenge from this blog was really limiting the possibilities.

Here’s the plan thus far. Instead of “The ServerFault Challenge” the website will be and will eventually be a self-service style website where anyone can sign up, set goals and time limits, look at pretty graphs, crunch numbers and generally keep themselves on task for any goals they may have that involve any website that is part of the larger Stack Exchange family of sites.

Thanks to the people at Stack Exchange Inc. for helping us out by purchasing the domain and allowing us to use the term “Stack Exchange” in our site title. All of this is with the knowledge that Stack Exchange Inc. is not affiliated with the Stack Exchange Challenge website and wholly owns the Stack Exchange trademark.

I’ll keep everyone up to date on the website’s progress. Of course, if you have any feature ideas you can send them to me at [email protected], contact me with the “Contact Me!” link at the top of my blog or leave comments below. However, we don’t quite have everything that we’d like yet. “What remains?” you might ask. Well…

Stack Exchange Challenge Needs teh Pretties!

It’s such an old saw, but it’s nearly universally true. Developers aren’t the best designers (I personally only know of one exception to that rule). The question that I have for anyone reading this is: Are you a web designer and would you grace the project with your skills? Of course, any design work will be fully credited and we’d love to give link juice from the Stack Exchange Challenge site to a place where people can hire your awesome self. This site has the potential to be seen by hundreds of thousands of users with backgrounds as diverse as the entire Stack Exchange family of sites. There’s no design goals other than make it awesome. You would have complete control over the entire visual appeal of the site.

If you’re interested in heading up the design of this site, send me an email at [email protected] and we’ll discuss things further. I’d love to see some of your previous work. And of course, since I suspect that at least a few folks will volunteer, that means I’ll have to make a tough decision. Showing that you can take “ownership” of a project and at the same time remain open to suggestions will go a long way to swaying me in your direction. =)

I’ll keep everyone up to date on the progress of the project. With any luck, it should be done by the time Phil Hollenback hits 10K.


  1. George Edison

    April 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Just a quick note… the page that I made is now available at


  2. Chopper3

    May 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Just got mine :) do I get a t-shirt or something? how about 20k next eh?


    • Wesley David

      May 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      So sorry it took this long to respond. I’m pretty sure Kyle has some goodies that will be given out to winners. My plan was to wait until the end of the year, but I think with so many people hitting the 10K mark before then I’ll do something else. I also have plans on my own prizes out of my own pocket.

      More news when I have the time to look into it though. Busy is good right? At least… the kind of business that leads to invoicing. =)


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